How Basantika Sharma Spearheads An Online Community For Parents
Entrepreneur Basantika Bagree Sharma calls her venture Kiducate a community strictly for the parents, by the parents and of the parents. It reaches out to parents who want to get the best for their child in terms of curricular and extracurricular activities, it’s by the parents as on the forum, parents genuinely connect and help other parents by giving first-hand reviews of a class their child is enrolled in, it’s of the parents (and/or singles) who post so many useful resources which a parent can make use to best suit the needs of their child.
Being the last person in her friends’ circle to get married, Basantika was mostly around when her friends discussed which school they should get their children enrolled in – they did not know how to choose from the plethora of options available. When she faced the problem first-hand with her daughter Sitara, the Interior Designer and Early Childhood educator was determined to come up with a solution.
“I knew that it would it be great if all child-related resources would come together on a common platform to share and exchange information, reviews”
“I knew that it would it be great if all child-related resources would come together on a common platform to share and exchange information, reviews, feedbacks, and opinions about the various curricular and extracurricular activities a child is in or any activity a parent may want his/her child to enroll in. This would in turn help save parents any ambiguity or doubts about a class or an activity they want their child to be a part of.
It would be a dream come true for any parent, including me, to be able to access a bank anytime, anywhere, no matter what age their child was as information shared in this bank would be direct and instant! And then came a time where people were beginning to use a lot of e-commerce platforms, through social networking websites to create groups and pages and before I knew it, Kiducate was born in February of 2014, while I was sitting at home on a sick leave from work, on Facebook as a closed group!”
Basantika recently received a shout out on Facebook from the social network’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. The former teacher at American School of Bombay describes the experience as unbelievable – she admittedly must have read the post a gazillion times and it still feels unreal.
“It means a lot, the bar has been raised, and there is no time to waste! This mention couldn’t have come at a better time as I have been in a bit of a transition phase in terms of shaping up the venture to a greater height. Apart from my family, my inner circle friends, and well-wishers, who always are by my side, Sheryl Sandberg’s post instantly acted as a catalyst to help me plan these next steps.”
Managing and developing a nascent company alongside taking care of her daughter, who is in preschool, is no mean feat.
At the threshold of becoming a full-time entrepreneur, Basantika finds herself surrounded only by challenges each day, every hour in terms of next steps, designing a website, etc! And managing and developing a nascent company alongside taking care of her daughter, who is in preschool, is no mean feat.
She adds, “My sole intention was to provide a hands-on learning experience for children of our community. Something which made them understand about the systems they are living in, what are the processes of these systems, how do they work?
As I embrace this journey in its full capacity, I know it is not going to be a cake walk but slowly and steadily I am studying the tricks of the trade and learning from the trial and error method with a constructivist’s approach.”
She hopes that her venture will develop into an Early Childhood Enrichment Center, which promotes self-reliance and provides opportunities for children to learn from their own doings.
Basantika cares deeply about the Early Years Education of a child’s life and that’s where she feels her true passion lies – observing preschoolers discover themselves in a new way! Though some education bodies have started moving towards this to some extent, we still have a long way to go before we can say that our kids are lifelong learners.
“I truly wish that the Indian Early Childhood Education system would evolve towards the child learning life skills that will help throughout his/her life rather than being taught a prescribed curriculum for the teacher to finish during an academic school year,” she concludes on a hopeful note.